Centwine of Wessex

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Centwine
King of Wessex
Reign676–686
PredecessorAescwine
SuccessorCaedwalla
Died 686
FatherCynegils, King of Wessex

Centwine ( 685) was King of Wessex from c. 676 to 685. He appears to have been one of several underkings of Wessex after the death of Cenwalh. But at some point he united the kingdom of Wessex under his rule.

King of Wessex[change | change source]

Centwine was the probable son of Cynegils[a] and grandson of Ceolwulf, King of Wessex.[1] According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Centwine became king c. 676.[2] Also that he succeeded Aescwine. Bede wrote that after the death of King Cenwalh: "his under-rulers took upon them the kingdom of the people, and dividing it among themselves, held it ten years".[3] Bede's view of Aescwine and Centwine as underkings may represent the views of King Ine. His family ruled Wessex in Bede's time.[4] If the kingdom did fragment following Cenwalh's death, it was reunited during Centwine's reign.[5] An entry under 682 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Centwine drove the Britons to the sea".[6] Aldhelm wrote Centwine won three major victories but does not say who he defeated.[7] Centwine is reported to have abdicated and became a monk.[8] The date of his death is unknown.

Family[change | change source]

Centwine married Eangyth, niece of Eorcenbert of Kent.[8] Her sister, Eormenburh was married to King Egfrith of Northumbria.[9] Together they had:

  • Bugga, Abbess of Eanburh.[b][7]
  • Oshere ( bef. 720)

Notes[change | change source]

  1. This Cynegils was not the same as Cynegils King of Wessex.[1]
  2. She later went on a pilgrimage to Rome.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 G. H. Wheeler, 'The Genealogy of the Early West Saxon Kings', The English Historical Review, Vol. 36, No. 142 (Apr., 1921), p. 166
  2. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 68
  3. Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Leo Sherley Price, revsd. R. E. Latham (London; New York: Penguin Books, 1990), pp. 223-24
  4. D. P. Kirby, The Earliest English Kings, Second Edition (London; New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 52-53
  5. Barbara Yorke, Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 145-46
  6. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: According to Several Original Authorities, ed. & trans. Benjamin Thorpe, Vol II (London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1861), p. 34
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 306
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 307
  9. Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 77

Other websites[change | change source]